Heavy metal and guitar rock

Cruiser

Connoisseur
This is a continuation of a thread that deviated off course in the other forum. I hope the interested parties find it. The discussion was guitar rock and heavy metal bands.

If you think that Zep was heavy metal you haven't listened to anywhere near enough of it.
Only about half of it was heavy metal or 'hard rock' to be more accurate.
The rest of it was experimental, ground breaking, influential and the complete text book on how to make good music using only the traditional line-up of drums, bass vocals and guitars.

I never said that heavy metal was all that they played; however, music historians generally credit Led Zeppelin as being the originators of what later became known as heavy metal. Although certainly not an authoritative source, if I might quote Wikepedia, however, this is consistent with most histories and timelines:

"With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin is regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands."

As to whether their brand of metal was like later incarnations by others, of course it wasn't; but that is true for any type music. The first commercially successful rap song is generally said to be Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues, but you won't convince my 20 year old daughter of that because it just doesn't sound like what she calls rap.

My first real interest in what you might call guitar rock would have to be The Ventures in the early 60's and I watched it evolve from there. You will get no argument from me as to how good Jimmy Page is, but do I think he was better than some of the other guys playing the Gibson Les Paul? Guys like Keith Richards, Duane Allman, and Eric Clapton. Not really. They all did what they did in their own way and were all outstanding.

Music moved on but nothing has surpassed it in terms of quality.

While I suspect that Led Zeppelin was the subject of that quote, I will go so far as to say that rock music in general has never gotten any better than it was in the late 60's and early 70's. It was like the perfect storm. Even the folks making the music then cannot do it again today. It was a magical time for music of this genre that I wonder if it will ever be duplicated.

I went to a lot of concerts back then and I can remember just being spellbound by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; Jefferson Airplane; Janis Joplin; and even folks like Kris Kristofferson and John Prine. Sure, there are some really good singers, songwriters, and pickers out there today; but the magic isn't there. I'll never forget that night in a little club in Nashville in 1971 when the Allman Brothers appeared out of the audience and proceeded to jam on Statesboro Blues and In Memory of Elizabeth Reed with the house band's instruments. Those were the days.

Cruiser
 

Wayfarer

Honors Member<br>P-Bomb
I never said that heavy metal was all that they played; however, music historians generally credit Led Zeppelin as being the originators of what later became known as heavy metal. Although certainly not an authoritative source, if I might quote Wikepedia, however, this is consistent with most histories and timelines:

"With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin is regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands."

Slight mischaracterization on your part Cruiser. Your source does not state they are "the originators" as you claim, but rather "on of the first". A big difference there IMO.

If I had to name one person to dub as "the originator" of heavy metal sound, I would say Tony Iommi. He came to the sound by needing to tune down to decrease the tension on the strings so he could play, due to losing two fingers tips in an industrial accident at the age of 17.

Zeppelin was certainly there at the beginning and very influential, but I think the claim of them as "the originators" is a stretch. I also agree, much of their music was more bluesy than heavy metal.
 

KenR

Elite Member
Originator, possibly not. But as the band that really launched the concept and brought it to the fore, then yup. And still the greatest.

I agree that the late 60's through early 70's was the perfect storm for rock. I think we will probably never see the likes of that again.
 

Cruiser

Connoisseur
I agree that the late 60's through early 70's was the perfect storm for rock. I think we will probably never see the likes of that again.

I read once where a songwriter, it may have been Dylan or McCartney, said that every songwriter has only so many songs in him/her and when those are gone, that's it. And I believe that.

Paul Simon can still write songs, but he can't write the songs he wrote in the 60's. Paul McCartney can still write a song, but can he write Yesterday or Eleanor Rigby today? Carole King and Bob Dylan wrote about half of what we heard other people singing on the radio in the 60's but they aren't doing that today. Who knows why all of these people came onto the scene all at once in the 60's. It was a perfect storm, indeed.

Cruiser
 

Wayfarer

Honors Member<br>P-Bomb
I read once where a songwriter, it may have been Dylan or McCartney, said that every songwriter has only so many songs in him/her and when those are gone, that's it. And I believe that.

Paul Simon can still write songs, but he can't write the songs he wrote in the 60's. Paul McCartney can still write a song, but can he write Yesterday or Eleanor Rigby today? Carole King and Bob Dylan wrote about half of what we heard other people singing on the radio in the 60's but they aren't doing that today. Who knows why all of these people came onto the scene all at once in the 60's. It was a perfect storm, indeed.

Cruiser

I think the song writing has to do with where you are in your life. I notice as some of the bands I liked in the 90's age, their music has gone from angst driven, hard charging refrains into mellow and beautific ponderings about their daughters, etc. Getting old takes the edge off and it shows in your writing IMO.
 

StevenRocks

Super Member
I read once where a songwriter, it may have been Dylan or McCartney, said that every songwriter has only so many songs in him/her and when those are gone, that's it. And I believe that.
I agree that a lot of our classic songwriters have had better days, but a genius is a genius, even if they're not writing life changing music. The last couple McCartney albums, for example, are still good, just not extraordinary.
 

Patrick06790

Connoisseur
Any discussion of heavy metal, guitar rock, or just plain gnarl has to include the second Velvet Underground album - particularly "I Heard Her Call My Name."
 

Rossini

Honors Member
Surely Black Sabbath was the foundation of Heavy Metal.

I love Led Zep. But they were rock, and folk rock, and great clever music, but not metal.
 

Cruiser

Connoisseur
Surely Black Sabbath was the foundation of Heavy Metal.

Yes, sorry I left them out earlier. Let me hear you say "I am iron man". :icon_smile_big:

I love Led Zep. But they were rock, and folk rock, and great clever music, but not metal.

Of course Zep played a lot of rock and roll among other things, but most rock and heavy metal historians credit them as being one of the originators of what later came to be known as heavy metal.

It's like the example I gave of my daughter. She doesn't recognize Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" as rap, but it helped lay the foundation of what she now knows as rap. The same is probably true of someone who identifies Iron Maiden and Judas Priest with heavy metal and might not see the connection to Led Zeppelin.

Dang, this heavy metal is giving me a headache. Think I'll get back to my Dan Fogelberg CD now.

Cruiser
 
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Laxplayer

Honors Member, <br>Varsity Captain
Don't forget Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, Judas Priest and Iron Butterfly. For metal bands, my favorites were Motörhead, Metallica and of course GNR. Another favorite of mine was Hüsker Dü. They weren't metal, but they had the umlauts!
 

JRR

Super Member
This is a continuation of a thread that deviated off course in the other forum. I hope the interested parties find it. The discussion was guitar rock and heavy metal bands.



I never said that heavy metal was all that they played; however, music historians generally credit Led Zeppelin as being the originators of what later became known as heavy metal. Although certainly not an authoritative source, if I might quote Wikepedia, however, this is consistent with most histories and timelines:

"With their heavy, guitar-driven sound, Led Zeppelin is regarded as one of the first heavy metal bands."

As to whether their brand of metal was like later incarnations by others, of course it wasn't; but that is true for any type music. The first commercially successful rap song is generally said to be Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues, but you won't convince my 20 year old daughter of that because it just doesn't sound like what she calls rap.

My first real interest in what you might call guitar rock would have to be The Ventures in the early 60's and I watched it evolve from there. You will get no argument from me as to how good Jimmy Page is, but do I think he was better than some of the other guys playing the Gibson Les Paul? Guys like Keith Richards, Duane Allman, and Eric Clapton. Not really. They all did what they did in their own way and were all outstanding.



While I suspect that Led Zeppelin was the subject of that quote, I will go so far as to say that rock music in general has never gotten any better than it was in the late 60's and early 70's. It was like the perfect storm. Even the folks making the music then cannot do it again today. It was a magical time for music of this genre that I wonder if it will ever be duplicated.

I went to a lot of concerts back then and I can remember just being spellbound by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; Jefferson Airplane; Janis Joplin; and even folks like Kris Kristofferson and John Prine. Sure, there are some really good singers, songwriters, and pickers out there today; but the magic isn't there. I'll never forget that night in a little club in Nashville in 1971 when the Allman Brothers appeared out of the audience and proceeded to jam on Statesboro Blues and In Memory of Elizabeth Reed with the house band's instruments. Those were the days.

Cruiser

Zep is proto metal.
 

Cruiser

Connoisseur
Don't forget Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, Judas Priest and Iron Butterfly.

I did mention Judas Priest; however, I don't think that I have ever thought of Steppenwolf as a heavy metal band. I went to several of their concerts in their heyday and to me it was just high energy rock and roll. Remember, the key component of heavy metal is the loud, heavily distorted guitar riff. Steppenwolf's music was more of the hard driven rhythmic sound of rock and roll.

I think Steppenwolf gets associated with heavy metal simply because the phrase "heavy metal" came from the song "Born to be Wild";

I like smoke and lightning,
Heavy metal thunder.

For what it's worth John Kay was a neighbor of mine a few years ago. I met him a couple of times and he seemed like a nice guy.

Cruiser
 
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Scars Unseen

Starting Member
Hmm... Of course the classics are always great: Rush, Sabbath, even ELP(more keyboard driven than guitar, but they managed to pull a fairly heavy sound on some of thier songs), but there are certainly some great contemporary acts out there too. It all depends on what you are interested in.

Setting aside some of the truly heavy groups that are out there(hint, get away from the radio and check out Europe), there are some bands that I think are very accessible without being formulaic like most of the stuff found in your local walmart "pop" section. Porcupine Tree comes to mind. Subtly deep songwriting, outstanding production, and just overall easy to slip into, I'd say that this band easily compares favorably with the classics.

Some others bands to try out if you are up for some variety:
Opeth - Great mix of bluesy rock and heavy metal, the growling vocals take some getting used to though
Pain of Salvation - a good progmetal band with deep lyrical content and a penchant for concept albums; The singer kind of reminds me of Mike Patton
Spock's Beard - more rock than metal, the songs are usually more upbeat than many you'll find these days
Iced Earth - traditional heavy metal; if you like Metallica and Iron Maiden, you will probably like this band.

And if you really want to experiment and possibly damage your ears and/or brain, you could check out Meshuggah(WARNING: Listening to Chaosphere while sleeping can provoke very weird dreams). Liking any of the above bands is no guarantee that you will like this one.
 

Laxplayer

Honors Member, <br>Varsity Captain
I did mention Judas Priest; however, I don't think that I have ever thought of Steppenwolf as a heavy metal band. I went to several of their concerts in their heyday and to me it was just high energy rock and roll. Remember, the key component of heavy metal is the loud, heavily distorted guitar riff. Steppenwolf's music was more of the hard driven rhythmic sound of rock and roll.

I think Steppenwolf gets associated with heavy metal simply because the phrase "heavy metal" came from the song "Born to be Wild";

I like smoke and lightning,
Heavy metal thunder.

For what it's worth John Kay was a neighbor of mine a few years ago. I met him a couple of times and he seemed like a nice guy.

Cruiser
Yeah, that's the line that made me think of Steppenwolf.
 

JRR

Super Member
Don't forget Steppenwolf, Deep Purple, Judas Priest and Iron Butterfly. For metal bands, my favorites were Motörhead, Metallica and of course GNR. Another favorite of mine was Hüsker Dü. They weren't metal, but they had the umlauts!

Of S, DP, JP and IB, only Priest can really be considered a metal band. Maybe Deep Purple, I would still consider them proto-metal, like Zep, Cream, S, IB etc...

Sabbath is really the starting point for metal. Mainly for the diff type of sound they had, Wayfarer touched on this above.

On a punk/alt tangent. agree that Husker Du was a great band. Minne's finest. I have Zen Arcade around somewhere.
 
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